Business exists to make a profit. That is an obvious key foundation of all business. Without profit, a business simply cannot survive, never mind develop and prosper. It is often what motivates business people and entrepreneurs to have the courage, the determination and the dedication to begin the business in the first instance.
There are often many suppliers, overhead costs, wages, expenses, bank loans and taxes to be paid and investment costs to be recovered before any profits show. Because it is so vital, it is very understandable that the financial “bottom line” of the business is often dominant within a business. It often appears to become almost the sole focus of the business person.
There are additional key foundations to every business; successful businesses are those that learn to keep the various foundations in good balance. I want to focus here on one other foundation of every business. It is partnership.
A business only exists and makes a profit in partnership with many other businesses and people. Every business needs customers, good staff, reliable suppliers and providers of specialist services. Businesses prosper when they understand, acknowledge and relate to each of these as real, important business partners.
That is where “soft skills” are obvious by their presence or absence. Many business people do not understand how important “soft skills” are and how it affects every aspect of their business, including their “bottom line”.
“Soft skills” cover a very wide area, but are essentially very simple. They are rooted in the belief in the value of each of one’s partners, in genuine respect for them and in an attitude of win/win between the business and its partners. Many are good communication and delegation skills. Listening skills are the most important.
But “soft skills” often need to be learned; they need to be treated with great importance. The smile that a customer gets from the staff at the check-out desk, the feel good factor that people sense, the feeling that people like doing business there, does not usually just happen by chance. It happens by choice. It happens when “soft skills” matter in that business.